The Orbiter. Part 7

Nimura station was built with mass production in mind, things break, Nimura station makes them. Things need to be mass produced due to high consumption on other stations? Nimura makes them.

With this design in mind, Nimura station was built with both larger, and more, solar panels on its exterior than the other stations, but eventually the demand drew so much that even that amount of power was insufficient, and the factories entered a brief stage of fuel burning to meet the demands, but the heavy smoke that filled the station quickly deterred them from pursuing this option. Instead the shifts were changed to 24hour production, the workforce was increased, and the houses were built smaller to accommodate the extra people.

By the time Lady Mitch came into power, the damage had already been done, the workers were all cramped into small, barely-liveable accommodation, forced to work excessive hours for gradually lowering wages. The time spent burning fuel had also taken its toll on the station, a consistent smog filled the air, breathed in by everyone who walked the surface of the station. Any attempts to rid the air of the fumes has proved futile, filtering the air achieved nothing, and attempts at exchanging the air had had minimal effect.

The furnaces that had been built during the brief time of burning fuels had been converted into small kiosks for the workers of the station. The large metal grates serving as nearly perfect closing-time gates.

Radim Spurling had never been impressed with the nature of Nimura station. When he was younger it was all he had ever known, but he had heard stories of the other stations, ones with lush greenery, or ample supplies of water. Of course in his younger years that’s all they had been, stories, but he had found that if he looked out the station windows at night, when the sun was no longer being reflected in, Nimura’s rotation allowed him to see the other stations. Even though his glimpses of the other stations were only brief, he was able to see all of them, and made his decision at that age. He was going to visit the other stations.

Seeing them also inspired him to do something else, he found himself unable to lose interest in the differences between the stations, and in whatever time he could muster free was spent searching through the history of the stations. However he hit his first two obstacles very early on. He realised that they only people who ever properly got the chance to visit the other stations were the nine members of the committee, and the pilots who flew the shuttles. The other obstacle was in his searching the history, as he discovered Nimura was not equipped with a suitable archive of information, as in fact neither were the other occupied stations, all the history books were located on Scorpion.

He put himself to the task, the only pilots were those chosen by the academy on station Saunders, and to even be with a chance of being selected the students had to have had a near perfect education record, alongside high levels of etiquette and have good marks in the simulator training.

The other children of Nimura wanted nothing to do with him. To them, his dream of wanting to visit elsewhere clashed with their knowledge of how Nimura worked. It was a station built to equip the others, and apart from the single high-power house, the house of Mitch, no-one ever made it off the station.

His being an outcast suited Radim fine however, and just gave him more time to his studies. And this in turn led to him being befriended by the one person who also had plans to take trips of the station. Young Lady Mitch herself.

Nimura had many struggles, and an undereducated population was one of those problems. As such the likelihood that one outcast would be approached by the one other person that children were afraid to associate with became incredibly high.

During her school years, Lady Mitch had been under almost constant supervision, her family had had no choice but to send her to the only school available, but when she was in the library there, the supervision relaxed slightly for it was always staffed, and no children on the station used it anyway.

No children bar one.

At first the two just ignored each other, sitting at opposite ends of the room and reading the things they wanted to. But it only took a couple of weeks of silence for Radim to grow tired and attempt to break it. He approached Lady Mitch one afternoon, at first confident that he was going to be clever and say something important to impress the next leader of Nimura station. But once up close, his confidence bottled and he stood in front of her with a rather meek expression on his face.

She looked up at him from her book. “What??” the bitterness of being approached by a mere commoner had been clear.

“You… You’re going to be the next leader of Nimura aren’t you?” Radim had sheepishly responded.

“Of course.” She had snapped back. “And when a dirty commoner such as you speaks to me and my family, You call me by my title. I’m a Lady you know.”

“I’m sorry Lady.” Radim’s half-step back showcased his fear fully.

Lady Mitch had snorted heavily. “Good. Now what do you want?”

“I’m going to be a shuttle pilot and see the stations.” Radim’s face had lit up as he spoke the words.

“You’re stupid, pilots don’t come from Nimura, you will work in the factories like everyone else.”

Radim had found himself severely regretting his decision, and had wanted to just back off. But for some reason he found himself angered by her comments and pushed forwards. “I will be a pilot one day, maybe I’ll be the first from Nimura, but at least I’ll be remembered for it.”

Lady Mitch had pretty much laughed in his face at that comment. “You don’t even have a title, and if you don’t have a title, you won’t ever be remembered.”

Radim had truly felt the tears welling up at the comments she had been making, and turned to walk away from her smirking smug face, but stopped himself, with just one last ace up his sleeve, one last burst of confidence. “Okay.” He had moved in closer to face her. “You don’t think I will, but how about this, if I do become a shuttle pilot, you have to hire me as your personal one when you join the committee.”

Radim had felt a small sense of satisfaction welling up as her smile disappeared, and for a few long moments, she said nothing. Until. “It won’t happen.”

“Well, doesn’t that mean you have nothing to lose?”

Again, Lady Mitch had paused, until another smug look appeared. “Okay, if, and only if, you make it, you can be my pilot when I take my spot on the committee.”


I was trying to write this part as a flashback but I’m not sure I got the tenses quite right.